I live in Washington, D.C., and for those of you who don't know, it's not a very pro-life city. Those who are pro-life tend to hide it from their employers and speak about it in conspiratorial tones when they are in public—as if they are in the French underground. A Gallup poll conducted last May showed that over half of Americans believe that the United States is “pro-choice” despite the same poll showing that “48 percent of U.S. adults identify themselves as pro-life and 45 percent labeled themselves as pro-choice.” Obviously many people have no idea they are in the majority. It is crucial to the pro-abortion camp that you continue to feel isolated. What is the point of fighting, after all, if you have no allies?
However, on January 22 something amazing happened. Hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters converged on the nation’s capital despite piercing winds and temperatures below freezing. Young and old, people came in droves to make their voices heard. I was fortunate enough to speak to a number of them at the March for Life conference. The majority of them were very young and extremely exuberant—a far cry from the old and out-of-touch outsider the media would like you to believe is the face of the pro-life movement. I talked to high schoolers who had a snowstorm turn their 16 hour drive into a 30 hour haul—yet still they came. I met a man who came all the way from the Netherlands. He was astounded and heartened to see so many other pro-lifers like himself, especially coming from a country so overtly pro-abortion.
Though I live in “the shadow of the anti-Christ,” as one priest at the conference called it, I know there are other pro-lifers in every city that is culturally “pro-choice.” Just last week San Francisco hosted its largest Walk for Life yet. The walkers were truly amidst hostile territory for pro-lifers, but they were out there proclaiming the truth nevertheless. This inspirational tale reminds us that, no matter where we are, we can do the same—even if it seems difficult to imagine at first. Not only that, but there are others who will stand with you if only they feel they have the support.
This is why the March for Life and other pro-life gatherings are important. They show the world that the pro-life movement is strong and far from a dying cause. And this strength renews our resolve. I saw an abundance of fresh faces just beginning to become involved in the effort. I saw people from all over the country fighting many disparate battles whether by sidewalk counseling, volunteering at their local pregnancy center, or by praying daily.
When so many gather together, it is possible to see beyond the small skirmishes we fight daily and become witnesses to the countless thousands fighting the war. Suddenly, “How can we win?” becomes “How can we lose?”
Brendan Clowes is a recent college graduate who interned at American Life League for two years and is now a full-time researcher for ALL.